After scrapping of Article 370, Pakistan-based terror groups may target security forces in Kashmir and the hinterland

Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Pakistan-based terrorist group, is looking to scale up attacks on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir as well as economic targets in cities such as Mumbai, intelligence agencies have told the government.

The assessment comes a day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir could lead to “Pulwama-like incidents”, even trigger a conventional war between India and Pakistan.

It is a statement that is being seen as an indication of Pakistan attempting to ramp up its support to terror groups, even push terror groups to throw all that they had.

A senior security official told HT that around the time Imran Khan made the statement, came news that Rauf Azghar, the younger brother of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azahar had moved up to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after meetings in Rawalpindi yesterday.

Rauf Azghar’s shifting closer to the border between the two neighbours ties in with reports emanating from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir about a large number of Jaish recruits shifting from its camps in Punjab towards the border.

In the hinterland, a top government official said, the intelligence establishment assesses that there could be attacks against some infrastructure and economic target.

The intelligence bureau suspects the Mumbai could be one of the targets on the radar of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, an official said, attributing this assessment to a string of inputs that had been received.

This set of inputs includes intelligence reports that a three-member Jaish team had been assigned the task of carrying out an attack in Mumbai and local sleeper cells had been activated.

The security establishment had anticipated much of these emerging developments.

This is the reason why National Security Adviser Ajit Doval landed in Jammu and Kashmir for a last-minute review of the security preparations with army and paramilitary commanders along the Line of Control and beyond.

The Centre had also told state police agencies to step up security at key places.